Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bright and early: Two K.C.-area preps KU-bound at semester

Blue Valley West offensive lineman Dylan Admire, second from right, occupies a defender and clears the way for a teammate to rumble down the field. Admire led the Jaguars with 67 pancake blocks in 2010 and will arrive at Kansas University early after graduating in late December.

Blue Valley West offensive lineman Dylan Admire, second from right, occupies a defender and clears the way for a teammate to rumble down the field. Admire led the Jaguars with 67 pancake blocks in 2010 and will arrive at Kansas University early after graduating in late December.



Contributed Photo

Blue Valley West offensive lineman Dylan Admire, second from right, occupies a defender and clears the way for a teammate to rumble down the field. Admire led the Jaguars with 67 pancake blocks in 2010 and will arrive at Kansas University early after graduating in late December.


Contributed Photo

Blue Springs (Mo.) High running back Darrian Miller jukes a defender and cuts back up the field during a Wildcats game this fall.

While most members of the high school Class of 2011 are still several months away from heading off to college, two nearby football prospects have their bags packed and are ready to settle in on the Kansas University campus.

Blue Valley West offensive lineman Dylan Admire and Blue Springs (Mo.) High running back Darrian Miller graduated last week and will begin taking classes at KU in January.

“It seems crazy that I’m graduating,” Admire said. “It’s gone fast, but my experience in high school’s been great. It’s hard to believe it’s over, but I’m excited for the next step, the next chapter, to play college football.”

Like Admire, Miller also said he was more excited about moving forward than he was nostalgic about the past, though he admitted last Wednesday that the reality of the situation had hit him.

“Honestly, it’s something I wanted, and I’m excited about it,” Miller said. “It’s something where people ask me all the time if I’m scared. But I think they’re more worried about me than I am worried about it.”

Helping make things easier on both players is the fact that they’re coming to KU together. Admire and Miller will room together at Kansas and, though they never played with or against each other, the two have become close.

“We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, and we get along really well,” Admire said. “Both of us are just excited to get up there. Whatever that leads to, if it means maybe not red-shirting, that’s great. But it’s really up to what the coaches think. We just want to help in any way possible.”

KU coach Turner Gill said arriving early was a good first step. Now entering his second year in Lawrence, Gill has made one thing clear already: He will give every player on his roster the chance to prove they deserve to play.

And his goal is to put the best players on the field, regardless of age.

Gill said recently that arriving early will give both players — along with defensive end Julius Green, junior-college transfer Bo Adams and, possibly, quarterback Brock Berglund — the best shot at getting onto the field during their first year in Lawrence.

“I think it’s a tremendous advantage,” Gill said. “No. 1, they get acclimated before they go into football season. Guys that are coming in here in August are thrown right into football and the school adjustments. Getting here early, they don’t have the football season with school so they can make a little adjustment.”

The upside of arriving early goes beyond getting comfortable in their dorm rooms and figuring out which classes are in which buildings. There are plenty of football-related advantages, too.

“They get in our program right away,” Gill said. “Not just from the X’s and O’s of football, but also strength and conditioning, getting to know their teammates better. They gain that whole six months and, as we get into the season, they’re a little more acclimated to what they need to do and to us as coaches. They know how to get things done. So it’s a tremendous asset to them and for us as a football program, too.”

Players who arrive early are eligible to participate in the 15 spring practices that begin in March.

There, they’ll get a headstart on learning KU’s schemes and terminology as well as the chance to adapt to the weight and muscle they’ll put during the next few months. Graduating early does not guarantee playing time, nor does it happen every year.

But KU is no stranger to the situation, with the most memorable example being former quarterback Todd Reesing, who came to Kansas in January of 2006 and was KU’s starting quarterback by August of 2007.

Admire said heading to KU with a future teammate took some of the uneasiness out of the whole process.

“In an instance when you’re the only guy, it can be tough,” Admire said. “You can be an outsider because you’re in between two classes. But we’ll be able to hang out with the guys who are there, and then when the rest of the 2011 class gets here it might be a good thing for them that we’ve been there, and we’ll be able to tell them how things go.”

Arriving early won’t do much to change their expectations. Both Admire, 6-foot-3, 264 pounds, and Miller, 5-10, 181, believe in their abilities and look forward to getting the chance to prove they belong on the field.

“I’m confident I can come in this year and at least help out in some way,” Miller said. “I’m not expecting too much, but I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. I just want to come in and help out as much as I can.”

Asked what he brings that could help KU, Miller pointed to his reputation as a home-run hitter.

“I feel like (KU has) that in some aspects of the game,” he said. “But I’m trying to bring that each and every play.”

Miller leaves Blue Springs as Missouri’s all-time leading rusher. He rushed for 2,226 yards and 30 TDs this season and set the Missouri big-class rushing record with more than 6,500 yards during his career.

Admire knows he doesn’t have the same kind of eye-popping stats as Miller. But that doesn’t bother him. His goal is to help Miller and the rest of KU’s running backs continue to crank out those types of numbers.

“The only stats we get is pancake (blocks), and no one really cares about that except maybe me and my coaches,” Admire said. “I had 67 this year, and if you’re a line coach or something, you’ll like that. The big thing Darrian and I have talked about is getting in there and making a difference. He’s been a three-year starter and has done great things in high school. He just wants to get in there and work hard and maybe get some playing time next year, same as I do.”

Miller will wear No. 3 at KU, a number that has belonged to some of KU’s recent greats, including Aqib Talib and Charles Gordon. Admire said he was not sure what number he would wear, but revealed that he was in the process of working out a deal with red-shirt freshman, and former Blue Valley West teammate, Pat Lewandowski, to get No. 66.

“He said he’d give it to me,” said Admire of the number he wore throughout high school. “So hopefully I can get that.”


Joe Ross 11 years ago

Great to have them on board. Time to bring in the QB also...maybe he could start in the fall!

Chris Bruning 11 years ago

hey jross.....sounding a little more positive about the football squad, good for you man. By the way TURNER GILL brought these great young athletes on board, snatching Dylan Admire from Nebraska's hands and out-recruiting Iowa for Darrian Miller. Go ahead and jump aboard the GILL IS AND WILL TURN THIS PROGRAM AROUND wagon anytime.....

Joe Ross 11 years ago football, if I was ever pessimistic the negativity was borne of realism. I have no qualms about subjecting optimism to the same standard.

100 11 years ago

Another knockout article by Matt Tait.

All of these kids coming in will be something great to look forward to for the next 4 years. The two I'm really looking forward to are Julius Green (6'7" Defensive end with blazing speed for a big man) & our new 6'4" QB.

Miller's stats are phenomenal. He will greatly benefit from arriving early.

One more piece of information for KU fans because there seems to be some misunderstanding:

As of right now this is not only, factually, the greatest class in the last 20 years for KU.... It's the best class in the history of Kansas football....

The best... Not the best in the last 20 years...

The best KU class.


Now, that's the good news.

Here's the great news; the national ranking we have on the backfield positions is in the top ten to go along with the massive line Gill is bringing to town.

And here's the best news on this class: we aren't finished bringing in recruits for this recruiting class.....

Get ready for another four star in the next few days....

Keep on bringin 'em in Coach Gill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KU_Alumn_2000 11 years ago

100 - what are you basing your facts about our class on ? Rivals rankings ? Because I thought Mangino brought in a couple of classes that were ranked in the 30s.

Also - what other 4 star recruits do you know of that are heading to Kansas ? Hopefully some defensive linemen right ?

Chris Bruning 11 years ago

KU Alumn- The four star's name is Anthony Pierson out of East St. Louis, he is a 4 star running back who is real little, runs a 4.4 40, and has a near 40 inch vertical. this kid could be a defensive back no doubt. he just finished up with a visit to KU and went to the game with all the other recruits(who have alll already committed) vs. USC.....what a good game to go to and get a good impression of what KU is all about.

Mike Johns 11 years ago

Miller is from my alma mater and is the real deal - We beat out IOWA to get him - which is where Blue Springs product and NFL RB Ladell Betts went to college.
Cannot wait to see these guys in the fall.

Jacobpaul81 11 years ago

Rankings. Ha.

We'll know what we got when they hit the field.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years ago

Apparently tait is the only one working at the ljw. Appreciate the hustle!

troutsee 11 years ago

Keep the FB articles coming.

Coming off of an abysmal season, this year's recruiting class is truly remarkable and it is probably going to get better. There are still some prized recruits out there. Enthusiasm for KU FB seems to be on the rise.

mondhawk 11 years ago

100 what 4 star recruit are you sure yn next few days and why?

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

I'm sure Darrian will be happy to have that cat off of his helmet...

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

eastTXjayhawk...good eye..and the friggin' cat is purple to boot!!!!

Tait is Grait, because he's never lait so we don't have to wait or meditait, so fish or cut bait on that blind dait because if you leave it to fait, you'll never find a mait.

[This last email brought to you all by the letters A and I.]

DevilHawk 11 years ago

More recruiting news: Kenneth Lynn (3* corner out of Dallas; 4.45 40) switched his commitment from Iowa State to KU.;_ylt=ArSaMGvFfKbwjcsk4okXQ4DBsJB4

100 11 years ago


Excellent find DevilHawk....

More to come Jayhawk football fans, this is just the beginning!!!!!

The tide has turned.....

Chris Bruning 11 years ago

good work devilhawk, thanks for the update

Chris Bruning 11 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Chris Bruning 11 years ago

my bad site staff, i broke our agreement. but its true about me and jayhawkinnebr's mom, we really did do all that stuff......

Matt Gauntt 11 years ago

Can we just give Tait a free case of RedBull and have him write for Keegan too?

justanotherfan 11 years ago

An underappreciated thing to note about Gill is that he is not only signing recruits, but these guys are coming in early. That's a key because it gives them a chance to participate in Spring drills, which makes is more likely that they can contribute earlier in their careers.

Instead of showing up for two a days this summer and having to learn the system and likely redshirting to put on weight, etc. these guys can come in this Spring, learn the system, play in the spring game, go through weight training, etc. That gives us a head start on next year with some of our new personnel.

I know that a lot of programs do this now, so I am glad to see us getting more early reporters.

texashawk10 11 years ago

I have a feeling Admire is going to have to redshirt this upcoming season despite coming in early because it's very unlikely he can get up to the 290-300 weight range in order to actually have an impact in the Big 12. I would guess that he will be at the 280-285 range once the season starts in the fall. I guess at 285, he could probably play center if necessary, but I would rather see him redshirt and get up around 300 lbs. and play guard in 2012.

Darrien Miller is someone who could have a real impact on the offense next season. He has the potential to be the lightning to Sims and Bourbon's thunder in the backfield and could have an impact on the return teams as well. I don't think it'll be too tough for Miller to get to about a 190 lbs. and keep his speed and quickness. He'll have to beat out Rell Lewis for the speed back role or could split the job with him and give KU 4 legit RB's for 2011. I just hope his career doesn't go the same way as the last guy to wear #3 for KU (Jacques Crawford).

Commenting has been disabled for this item.